Thursday, December 18, 2014

Uniquely You

I am afraid of failing.

So I often don't try things that I think I might fail at.

And even if I did want to try something just for the experience, like bungee jumping off a bridge, I probably wouldn't ever do it because 1) I am scared of heights and would definitely pee my pants, 2) I am not a thrill seeker, although I enjoy adventure, and 3) I am afraid that I would be the statistic when the cord breaks, because they do break, don't they? And I can just see myself falling from the bridge, thinking, well, you shouldn't have tried, because this clearly isn't going to plan.

Some might call it what it seems to be: fear of failing. But others might see it for what it is: self-doubt. (Self-doubt may not apply to bungee jumping. This is a risk that is not worth taking.)

Self-doubt would imply that I have a lack of confidence in myself or in my abilities, even the ones that God has given me. Especially when I start comparing myself to other people.

I know it's a terrible habit, but it creeps up on me even before I really have a chance to ward it off. There is this almost innate pattern of comparing myself to others that I've recognized happening all the way back to elementary school, and while I understand in my head that I am me and you are you, I can't help but compare. And it never turns out well in the end.

Even the rich, famous and beautiful compared...
google images

I have a neighbor who is completely and totally awesome. Really. Her house is decorated, her clothes are cute, her kids are sweet--she has got it all together.

A friend told me not too long ago not to compare my behind the scenes to anyone else's highlight reel.

Her highlight reel rocks.

And my behind the scenes--well, my behind the scenes could use some help.

And this self-doubt, it begins to creep in. With thoughts like "Who said you were good at _____?"

The feel-bad part is when I start to agree.

Because really, who did say I was good at what I thought I may have been good at? Did I say that? Someone could use a good dose of reality.

And then the reality hits me: I am not good at some things. (STEM projects, which my friend Victoria totally rocks at. I am confounded by these supposed-to-be-fun-and-rewarding activities. Make a trap out of straws, Popsicle sticks, those fuzzy-bendy-wire things and toilet paper rolls? No. My brain does not accept this as a possibility.)

And that's okay.

I'm good at other things.

Yes. It is okay to accept the fact that I will never be an engineer, but that I can create a gallery wall of black-and-white prints. It is okay to accept that I don't do math quickly in my head, but I can envision a room in my head before I start decorating it. Not all the time. And it doesn't always work out. (There's this thing called money that often gets in the way. Reality. Ugh.)

See, validation can't come from other people. The well of public opinion is as deep as it is wide, and it is historically very unreliable. So whether we are searching for validation through beauty or skills, people will never be enough to fill the cup we hold. We are all human, and whether we are depending on someone else or someone else is depending on us, people will let people down. But God created us, He knew us before we were even born, and total security and validation comes from him. We just need to turn our eyes toward his light. His nature is steady and solid as a rock, and searching for any validation from any other source besides him will lead to self-doubt.

Each of us was made uniquely, unlike anybody else, and the world would be drastically different if there was no you in it. We were all given different talents and gifts, and to not use those things to benefit others would be a shame. They make you...you. And you can have an impact on the world.

The more you like yourself, 
the less you are like anyone else, 
which makes you unique.
{walt disney}

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